Hogarth ties record en route to becoming U.S. Senior Am medalist
29 Aug 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for U.S. Senior Amateur, The Kittansett Club, Tim Hogarth Rankings

Tim Hogarth (Jeff Haynes/USGA photo)
Tim Hogarth (Jeff Haynes/USGA photo)

Tim Hogarth of Northridge, Calif. carded a bogey free 7-under par 65 in the Sunday’s second round of stroke play to take medalist honors at the U.S. Senior Amateur being held at the Country Club of Detroit.

Hogarth’s brilliant round tied the lowest score shot in a U.S. Senior Amateur, matching Bill Zylstra in 2007 at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan. While his 36-hole stroke play total of 134 (69-65) also matches a U.S. Senior Amateur record, first accomplished by Billy Claggett at The Farms Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. in 2005.

This also marks the third time the 55-year-old Hogarth has taken medalist honors in a USGA championship, following his impressive showings at the 2007 and the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateurs at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort (shared with four others) and the Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, NY, respectively.

“You know that’s exciting,” said Hogarth of the achievement. “Any time you do something that is meaningful in history, I’m proud of that.”

Playing in his first U.S. Senior Amateur and carrying his own bag, Hogarth took advantage of favorable morning scoring conditions to close out his round with birdies on four of his last five holes to sign for a 65.

“Today was just better,” said Hogarth of his overall performance from Saturday’s first round when he carded a 69. “Especially going into match play, to be hitting it really solid makes me feel good about it.”

Hogarth’s 134 total left him four strokes clear of Chip Lutz, the 2015 champion who held a share of the first-round lead and an opening 67. Sean Knapp, the 2017 champion and Sherill Britt, were five strokes back. Knapp bounced back nicely following an opening 73 to card a second round 66, which was the second-best score of the day.

Lutz began his afternoon round off the 10th tee as if he might take a run at Hogarth for medalist with birdies on 10, 11 and 14. But after nine consecutive pars, he bogeyed six and eight before closing his day with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 ninth.

“I’m quite pleased with the way I played the last two days,” said Lutz. “Really you just need to get into match play and anything can happen. I’m a perfect example of that; I’ve been in five semifinal matches [since becoming eligible in 2010] and lost four times. I was in three [semis] and lost before winning [in 2015].”

Knapp’s 66 was keyed by a par save on the par-4 12th, his third hole of the round. After having to lay up from a fairway bunker, the 59-year-old who qualified for this year’s U.S. Amateur executed a perfect 74-yard wedge approach to 5 feet. When he reached the par-5 17th in two with a 4-iron, Knapp felt he had finally found something after struggling in Round 1. He finished with birdies on four of his last six holes.

“I kind of understand the golf course after the last few days,” said Knapp. “As much as anything, it’s not having to expend that pressure [to qualify] or that emotion coming down the stretch.”

Roger Newsom, of Virginia Beach, Va., the runner-up in 2019 to Bob Royak, is onto match play at 4-under 140 after backing up Saturday’s 69 with a 71.

Royak pulled off one of the shots of the day on the par-5 ninth, his 18th of the day. After getting a drop from a cart path adjacent to the halfway house, the Alpharetta, Ga., resident watched his 30-yard pitch take one hop on the green and disappear into the hole for an eagle.

Six golfers, Jeff Knox, 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Doug Hanzel, former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy, first round leader Scott Almquist along with Jerry Gunthrope and Chris Fieger, are in a large pack at 3-under 141. Longtime Northern California Golf Association rivals Randy Haag (-1) and Casey Boyns (E) also advanced to match play.

One of the more remarkable feats in U.S. Senior Amateur history came to an end when two-time champion Paul Simson missed the cut by seven strokes. The 70-year-old from Raleigh had never missed the cut – or lost a Round-of-64 match – in 13 previous starts. Simson, who owns a 34-11 match-play record, is four wins shy of the all-time mark held by Lewis Oehmig.

On to Match Play

Hogarth won't have long to relish on his record-setting performances, as the match play portion of the U.S. Senior Amateur gets underway on Monday morning.

The cut for match play came at 4-over 148 with exactly 64 contestants on the number or better, erasing the need for a Monday playoff for the final spots. It’s the lowest cut since this current format was added in 1964. It’s also the first time since 2016 that no playoff was needed to determine the last spots for match play. It also happened in 2001.

“I’ve had this experience twice, where I won the Pub Links and I got to the finals of the U.S. Mid-Am, so I know that it takes a long time," said Hogarth. "Hopefully, I am ready for a long week.”

Royak will also rely on the the "been there, done that" approach as he sets his sights on match play.

"Confidence is hard to get and when you can win that many matches and know you can do it, that makes a big difference.”

Gene Elliott, the top-ranked senior amateur in the world, will have a chance to add the U.S. Senior Amateur to his already handsome trophy case which includes hardware from the R&A and Canadian Senior Amateurs. He advanced to match play after rounds of 74-71 left him three shots on the right side of the cutline at 1-over 145.

"You have to flip the switch from stroke play to a match play mentality," said the reigning R&A Senior Amateur champion. "You can shoot a 68 and lose to a guy who shoots a 75 - that's just the way it goes.

"There's a tendency to play defensive golf in match play, which often times works against you. I'm just going to stick with what has been successful and see what happens."

The USGA contributed to this report

Results: U.S. Senior Amateur
WinIAGene ElliottW. Des Moines, IA2000
Runner-upMIJerry GunthorpeOvid, MI1500
SemifinalsCanadaDave BunkerCanada1000
SemifinalsCACraig DavisChula Vista, CA1000
QuarterfinalsGARusty StrawnMcDonough, GA700

View full results for U.S. Senior Amateur

ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Amateur

The USGA Senior Amateur is open to those with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.4 or lower, who are 55 or older on or before the day the championship begins. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

View Complete Tournament Information

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